In House Groups on Wednesday 22 February, staff and students marked the commencement of Lent with a sacred and prayerful Ash Wednesday Liturgy. As we move into the season of Lent, we remind ourselves about the ongoing relevance of praying, giving and fasting, as a means of connecting our lives to Jesus who made the ultimate sacrifice through his death.
Praying can sometimes be secondary to all of the other “activities” that make up our busy days, and it is easy enough to put it aside for another time. Prayer as an integral part of who we are means that we are always attentive to the constant presence of God in our lives, and we are ever in conversation with God. This Lent my commitment is to pray daily using a wonderful little resource I came across by accident – God’s action working in my life. This beautiful prayer is from the reflections for the first day of Lent, Ash Wednesday.
Graceful and Merciful God,
I give thanks for your loving presence with me as I begin this Lenten journey.
Help my heart and mind to be attentive to you so that my life is renewed, and I can give all that I am and all that I do over to you.
(From Ashes to Hope, Daily Reflections for Lent and the Easter Octave)
There was certainly a great deal of enthusiasm leading up to the Multi-Sports Day on 23 February, and a definite buzz in the air at the conclusion of the day. Student participation in the program was exceptional, and I would like to congratulate all of our students who took the opportunity to participate, get active, have fun and score some points for their Houses.
I would like to acknowledge the work of Shellie Murton, our Sports Coordinator, and Frank Bonavia, Head of College Operations, who master-minded a complex logistics exercise to ensure that we were all able to make the most of a great day. Thanks to all of the staff members who got involved with their students and worked to ensure that the activities at each of the venues ran as smoothly as possible. We look forward to the upcoming Athletics Carnival on 29 March, and I would encourage all students to be as active and involved as they were on Multi-Sports Day.
Year 9 Urban Engagement Program
This week core group 9.1 head off into the city for their Urban Engagement Experience with St Bernard’s College. This week has been months in the planning and I would like to acknowledge the work of Greta Bajada, who saw promise in the program for our students, and to Greta Bajada, Susan Valenzuela, Caitlin Devlin, Liliana Condello and Louy Saade for all the work that has gone into shaping up a rigorous and engaging program that brings the mission and values of the College to life, while providing our students with a different type of learning experience.
Parent Code of Conduct
As I communicated in the letter sent to all families before the commencement of the school year, St Columba’s College now has a Parent Code of Conduct to establish shared expectations about our partnership with families throughout their child’s time with the College. I have provided the link again here for your reference. This last week, we received communication from Melbourne Archdiocese Catholic Schools (MACS) providing a reminder about the benefits of a Parent Code of Conduct for a school community. I share an excerpt of this communication with you below.
Why are codes of conduct important?
They provide opportunity for schools to express their values, and expectation that all interactions with the school are to be based on respect and procedural fairness. Codes of conduct should include the types of behaviour that are acceptable, as well as behaviour that is unacceptable. Behaviour expectations can differ from person to person, so clearly providing examples of acceptable and unacceptable behaviour is helpful to all parties. As part of their enrolment contract, students and parents/guardians/carers agree to uphold the school’s values and acknowledge that they understand the behaviour expectations.
Codes of conduct are a key component of the Enrolment Agreement as they enable the school to remind students and parents/guardians/carers that all interactions need to be respectful, even if the issue is challenging.
Codes of conduct also support the school’s complaints process as they enable the school to:
- remind students and parents/guardians/carers about acceptable behaviour during a difficult conversation,
- suspend a discussion if behaviour is unacceptable.
In addition to complaints and enrolment agreement matters, codes of conduct can be used to manage other discussions with students or their parents/guardians/carers that may be difficult due to the consequences or sensitivity. The codes can be used by schools to keep discussions calm and respectful. This approach often enables a mutually acceptable outcome to be reached.
We enjoy fruitful, productive and harmonious partnerships with our families. Codes of Conduct help us to ensure that our relationships continue this way into the future.